May 2017
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Are Tablets Ready for K-12 Education?

Bill Gates once said that the iPad is “good for reading, but not necessarily for creating.”

Tablets remain devices largely focused on content consumption. K-12 schools are under pressure to have students create more content and participate more actively in education. There are outstanding tools for content creation on both iOS and Android, but many teachers are still struggling to incorporate digital art or mindmaps, for example, into classroom outcomes. While students intuitively use on-screen keyboards and a variety of apps to express themselves, this is uncharted territory for many teachers, again creating barriers to adoption.

An Apple patent was recently discovered revealing an iPad pen, built specifically for eduction. This pen and others like it can be easily adopted in schools to get students interested in doing classwork and to “create,” making it an even more valuable school instrument. Whether or not this will secure the iPad in future K-12 classrooms or if tablet PCs or some other device will win the battle is yet to be determined. Some experts have said the iPad 2 will lead for a year or two and then Android tablets will take over, while others are saying that the iPad will hold the market for many, many years to come.

Some experts still believe the pros far outweigh the cons when it comes to general tablet use in education–not only do students find it much more exciting to learn with a tablet than a textbook and pen, but there are many apps and a lot of software designed for kids to better understand the material.
Many experts think it is completely feasible to see an influx of tablets, tablet PCs, and eReaders with educational software and loaded eTextbooks in numerous classrooms the near future, in what several are call it “embracing technology.” Even though what device is chosen is based on individual classroom and school needs and wants, many experts and educators agree that the new technology can go beyond the physical walls of each classroom and open up a plethora of learning opportunity for our students.

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